The second round of startups which will be participating in Telstra’s muru-D accelerator program have just been announced and they’re a diverse bunch.
Each of the startups will receive $40,000 seed capital in return for 6% equity in the business. Meaning the Telstra-backed accelerator has just valued each of these ideas at more than $600,000 a piece.
They will also receive six months of office space in the Sydney CBD, mentoring and business support to help the founders build the ideas out.
Telstra is throwing a lot of resources at innovating like a startup, with the agile development receiving support from the upper echelons of the company, including CEO David Thodey who this week said it’s a critical part of the company’s growth strategy.
“We need to find ways to do things different,” Thodey said this week, adding “Technology is the enabler but we have to make the value.”
Thodey said startups are innovating fast and while that’s great, it’s something which cannot just be left to the little companies – big organisations need to innovate as well.
“We all need to grasp hold of this technology and apply it to ourselves,” he said adding it will change business models.
Charlotte Yarkoni, Telstra software group executive director and muru-D Co-founder said, “If we don’t innovate, we risk becoming irrelevant. It’s a priority for Telstra and we’re starting to see it become a priority for more and more organisations, which is very exciting for everyone involved in the business.”
The ideas range rom a 3D printed surfboard company and an online catering platform to a digital marketplace for freight transport.
The eleven startups went through a gruelling selection process, pitching to startup coaches over a few rounds to secure a place in the accelerator’s second class.
Here are the final 11 startups who will be in innovation lockdown for the next six months.
- FanFuel – a sponsorship marketplace where brands search, measure and secure their sponsorship deal.
- FreightExchange – a digital marketplace for freight transporters to sell their unused capacity to businesses that need to ship goods.
- Wattblock – quick, customised, web-based energy saving roadmaps for residential and commercial strata buildings.
- Disrupt Surfing – custom surfboards made using 3D modelling.
- You Chews – an online catering platform, making it easy to find great food for meetings and events.
- TripALocal – an online platform that connects travellers with local hosts for authentic local experiences.
- Peep Digital – an intelligent, phonetic English technology platform to help children, youths and adults struggling with English pronunciation and comprehension.
- VClass – the first ever hybrid education platform that combines the power of Internet, VoIP and traditional pen and paper to create an online teaching experience like face to face.
- Instrument Works – developers of wireless, portable sensors and instruments to build the internet of things for research.
- CrowdSourceHire – a pre-hire assessments marketplace platform that crowdsources industry experts to assist with assessment of jobs for companies.
- SoccerBrain – making it easy for anyone to coach a team, providing tailored, interactive training sessions week-by-week for coaches and players.
Ann Parker, muru-D Co-founder, said there was so much talent to select from including a bunch of people who didn’t make the first round last year.
“We were bowled over to see some of the applicants from round one actively take on board our feedback and return again with a stronger offer,” she said.